In previous editions of D&D it was possible to have two base forms or (in some editions) a creature 'template'. In 5e the base form is important and always singular: many spells &/or magics only work on specific creature type(s). The problem we encountered: can a Simulacrum be Reincarnated? You will note that the Simulacrum specifies that it can only be cast on humanoids and the spell claims it creates an exact duplicate. That said, this exact duplicate cannot accept healing &/or learning. What's more, this replicant has only half the hit points.

With Reincarnation you will note that the recipient creature must be a humanoid. Previous editions were much more open to include many other living creatures but 5e is very specific. Thus, this spell will allow the reincarnation of exotic creatures such as Xvarts, half-dragon kobolds or even Nagpas - but not any beast, giant, or fae, regardless of how identical they are to humans. But i digress. The long and short of this: a construct will NOT be reincarnated. It is devoid of the life required to incarnate in the first place (in fact, it is odd that a construct is considered a 'creature' and not a 'magic item').

What is odd about D&D constructs, they are far more alive than most people. They heal after a short or long rest. The Simulacrum does not get this. Many a construct (or animated dead) does not suffer exhaustion - but a Simulacrum does.

Truth is, the 'Real World' concept of Reincarnation would be poor source material as many faiths believe that all animals, insects and possibly even plants return in some justly-deserved shape. Does your dog have a soul? Does your cat have more of a soul than, say, Mike Bloomberg? How about the spirit-in-car-golem Herbie the Lovebug. Why not reincarnate this car... again?

Thus / the Question: does anyone know if the 'creature' created by the Simulacrum spell is considered a humanoid or a construct?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the bigger problem here is "does a Simulacrum have a soul?" "Come back to life" spells in 5E are all pretty explicit that the existence and availability of a soul is required for the spell to function. If it does have a spell, then that would imply that Wizards who gleefully abuse Simulacrum are positively flooding the planes with copies of their soul \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2020 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would love to know more about the production, development and logistics of soul transpiration. Somewhere in 5e it suggests the Abyss (of infinite stuffness) somehow makes souls. This suggests people advance (through reincarnation) through the planes until they hit the Upper Planes somewhere and then are removed from circulation (possibly becoming part of some ancient and powerful OverGod). Thousands of ideas on campaigns! No idea who or what to ask. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23, 2020 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


It's A Construct

Your Roll20 link is out of date. On D&D Beyond, Simulacrum's last line has been updated to match the 2018 eratta:

Otherwise, the illusion uses all the statistics of the creature it duplicates, except that it is a construct.

As a simulacrum is not a humanoid, and never was, it is not a valid target for reincarnate.

On Creature Types

Regarding your statement:

What is odd about D&D constructs, they are far more alive than most people. They heal after a short or long rest. The Simulacrum does not get this. Many a construct (or animated dead) does not suffer exhaustion - but a Simulacrum does.

In previous editions of D&D (particularly 3.x), creatures were strongly typed and those types had meaning to them. A creature of type construct always had properties A, B, and C; while a creature of type undead always properties Q, R, S, and T, and so on.

In D&D5E, that same kind of strong typing and implicit abilities does not exist. Other than being used as a flag in other things (like spells requiring a humanoid target, as you've discovered) the types have no inherent properties. One should not take one particular construct exhibiting certain abilities as all constructs exhibiting those abilities. Each creature needs to be looked at individually.

For another example of "types don't mean anything, unless something explicitly references the type", see my answer to: What is "Force" Damage?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I miss the stronger typing of creatures to be perfectly honest. Made it a tad easier to run certain things on the fly knowing that x was always true. Unfortunately, schools of magic don't really mean much either as an example although I enforce them anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Feb 19, 2020 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Yup... Strong typing is one of the things I miss the most from 3.x - creature types, spell schools, and ability types (Ex/Su/Sp). Things like "Elves get advantage versus charms" would be a lot easier to adjudicate quickly if you could just look and say "Yup, that's an Enchantment (Charm) spell" instead of having to read the whole description to see if the the spell uses the word "charm" anywhere in it. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Feb 19, 2020 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ So much value in creature types! Example: a creature gained 'draconic' sub-type - getting new intelligence, nifty abilities and more types! A creature could be a humanoid plus undead plus draconic - all at the same time. It was somehow easy and fun. It makes no sense that one MUST be one type and cannot be another at the same time. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23, 2020 at 16:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimofTime Unfortunately, single typing is the way it is in 5E - from a game design standpoint, it makes as much sense as any other choice. In 5E, they went for simplicity. In 3.x, they went for flexibility. They're both equally valid and equally sensible choices, just for different reasons. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Feb 25, 2020 at 13:21

In the definition of the Simulacrum spell, it states:

If the simulacrum is damaged, you can repair it in an alchemical laboratory, using rare herbs and minerals worth 100 gp per hit point it regains. The simulacrum lasts until it drops to 0 hit points, at which point it reverts to snow and melts instantly.

While reincarnation states:

You touch a dead humanoid or a piece of a dead humanoid. Provided that the creature has been dead no longer than 10 days, the spell forms a new adult body for it and then calls the soul to enter that body. If the target’s soul isn’t free or willing to do so, the spell fails.

So, you have to target reincarnation to a dead creature, but when a Similacrum dies, be becomes snow. There is no body.


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